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Islamic group condemns US transfer of Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, urges ‘appropriate measures’

Aerial (helicopter) view of the Temple Mount, and the where the Southern and Northern Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem meet the Eastern wall. A Muslim cemetery lies at the foot of the Eastern Wall. (Godot13/Wikimedia Commons)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has condemned decisions by the United States and other countries to move their Israeli embassies to Jerusalem, the divided city that Palestinians hope to make the capital of their future state.

The group of 57 countries, meeting at a summit in the Saudi holy city of Mecca, on June 1 also blasted the March 25 U.S. move to recognize Israel’s annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights, which was captured by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967.

Israel also captured East Jerusalem during the 1967 war and has declared the entire city its capital. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital for their proposed independent state.

In 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ordered the U.S. Embassy to relocate there from Tel Aviv, sparking international criticism as well as Palestinian and Arab anger.

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A small number of other countries, including Guatemala, have also indicated similar plans.

In its final communique, the OIC summit condemned the “transfer of embassies of the United States and Guatemala to Jerusalem” and urged all members to “boycott” countries that have opened diplomatic missions in the city.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, who hosted the summit, also reiterated his support of the Palestinians.

In 1981, Israel extended its laws to the 1,800-square-kilometer Golan Heights that it captured from Syria in the Six-Day War, effectively annexing it in a move not recognized by the international community.

Trump in March signed the formal proclamation recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the strategic heights.

The OIC consists of countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.